From Project Athinai

Jump to: navigation, search

You are here: Main Page >> Akropolis Surroundings >> Klepsydra



The inhabitants of Athens probably discovered the spring inside the cave of the Klepsydra at the foot of the Akropolis Rock around 1250 BC. Initially this spring was dedicated to the Nymph Empedo and a poros shrine was probably built near the spring.

The Klepsydra spring house and the Paved Court were probably built around 465 BC. The spring house proper measured 7.80 m by 6.70 m. Its isodromic walls were built with poros blocks 0.40 m high by 1.13 m wide by 0.50 m thick. The reservoir located at the back of the building measured 4.52 m by 2.23 m by 4 m deep. The reservoir being set deep in the cave, the platform in front of it reservoir was located 2.30 m below ground level and was accessed through a stair in the northwest corner of the spring house.

The Paved Court to the north of the spring house was in fact a cistern collecting rainwater cascading down the Akropolis Rock.

Later Features

Around 50 AD, the cliff collapsed and the spring house had to be redesigned. A new wall was built to preserve the east half of the Paved Court.

Around 350 AD, a vaulted corridor was built to link the Klepsydra to the entrance of the Akropolis in front of the Propylaea.


Camp, John M.; The Archaeology of Athens, Yale University Press, 2001, pp. 70-71

Hurwit, Jeffrey M.; The Acropolis in the Age of Pericles, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004

Travlos, John, Pictorial dictionary of Ancient Athens, Books that matter, New York, 1971, p. 323

To do

  1. Find out if the shrine of Empedo was preserved when the Klepsydra was built
Personal tools